2017 just gave way to 2018 in a cacophony of jubilation, prayers, orgies, screams, joy and sorrow, depending on where one is in the globe and one’s proclivities. For me, for something like the first time in my young adult life, I neither got into the Christmas overdrive nor the new year’s festivities. I cannot really place why, but it seems somewhere in my mind, there’s something saying “2017? 2018? Kini big deal?” Maybe I would need Christopher Nolan to investigate the inception of this notion.
If you’ve read my bio, you would know that I’m what some would call a religious person. So, after crossing over to the new year on my bed, the day broke and I wondered at the “hype” around the new year. I thought about God not needing a yearly calendar because a 365.4-day earthly calendar would make zilch sense for one in timeless eternity. Time-limited humans simply designed a yearly system to help us keep track of time and plan properly, and in a way, remind ourselves of the finite nature of life.
Okay, I feel the last paragraph was veering a bit to the philosophical. Let me try to return to a safe space. I think one reason I did not get freaked out over this new year is that I have seen that we just go in cycles. Let’s look at Nigeria for example. Africa’s biggest oil producer is groaning under fuel scarcity cramps. Nigerians just cannot find petrol to buy, and when they do, the price is far above the government’s controlled price despite the disguised return of petrol subsidies. The annoying thing is seeing a newspaper clipping from 1977 featuring exactly what is happening now. On another slide, the Nigerian government just appointed at least eight dead persons into the boards of some agencies. For a government that rode to power on a promise of change, Bon Jovi’s lyrics come to mind: “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.
Let’s leave Nigeria and move out to Africa. Has anything changed in the last decades? The problems Africans face now are generally the same problems their grandparents faced. I once heard a pastor say that a sign of growth is facing and solving new problems. If we accept this, then we can say that Africa is a prime example of stagnation. The “dark continent” has refused to receive light. The only light that has come to Africa is seen in the lightening creams we use to bleach away our protective melanin; trying to look like “whites” without also trying to copy their developmental strides.
Move out of Africa into the wider world. Is there any problem that is truly new? Many problems we face today can be described in the words of the Doxology: “as it was…, so it is, now and ever shall be”. The Israeli-Palestinian issue still remains unsettled. We have generally forgotten about the wars in places like Syria, Yemen and Crimea. Leaving wars, the political conflicts in the US and several other countries are simply reincarnations of past ideological conflicts, reinforcing the notion that “history repeats itself”.
In this article, just as in most of my blog posts, I started with a title and began tapping at my keyboard without any sense of direction or any thought as to where it would all lead. In the past few months, I have considered going private, keeping my thoughts and happenings in my life away from internet servers. While acknowledging some benefits of blogging and social media, I have begun to think putting my thoughts out at a time when many persons passionately dislike others for holding divergent views could be a risk for me. For social media, I now think that while it could be useful for communication, it could be putting undue pressure on us to “live the life”, making some persons to feel forced to parade fake lives or engage in illicit actions to attain a life that can earn “likes” and glowing comments online. Would I stop blogging? Time would tell, as even I do not know.
Before I get tagged as a vile spoilsport, let me toe the public line and pour encomiums on the new year. If there’s anything I would hold on to this year, it would be a commitment to keep developing and becoming a better person. I owe myself that. So, here we come to the end of this article. Do have an amazing year that is fulfilling and filled with love.
Happy New Year!
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